I forgot a few things. Previously I wrote about poop here, (Poop) sort of the same thing. So today I will write about the other aspects of how and where feces has been integrated into our food supply. Not necessarily with the blessing of our rulers, but certainly with them turning their cheek and looking the other way while leaving other entities to deal with the problems. By that I mean the FDA and USDA as well as the EPA are well aware of the problem and causes, but instead of stepping up and doing something to stop the problem; the agencies simply will not make decisions or instigate rules that would in any way affect the profits of the giant agribusinesses that are at the root. Instead it is just easier to allow the processes to continue, the profits and associated kickbacks to continue, and the 23,000 annuals deaths to mount up along with the estimated 2 million cases of salmonella contamination to continue. All those problems are someone else's problems. And so it is, it's our problem.
Right now you can go to the FDA website and then go to the CURRENT recall list of foods that have been recalled. There is a list of all foods, drugs, pet foods and medical devices that have been recalled and the list is updated daily. (FDA Recall site) It is winter, so not much there regarding salmonella, but normally from March to October, the numbers of processed produce recalls is staggering. The reasons for the recalls, Salmonella, Listeria and other bacterial contaminants from animal feces. Even though the EPA is charged with regulating the disposal of wastes generated from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, the agency does little to regulate the problem. It is true that they spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with internal rule MAKING, and have established definitive GUIDELINES for agribusinesses to follow; however when it comes to enforcing those guidelines they haven't had a lot of success. (EPA CAFO rules) In fact agribusiness usually win in courts when it comes to a question of human safety or spending money to comply with EPA CAFO regulations. The 2008 decision of the Federal 2nd Circuit Court details pretty distinctly that agribusinesses don't need to worry about runoff effluent from their CAFO operations due to inclement weather conditions, such as rain. (2008 ruling) What this means is that when a giant agribusiness goes into the business of raising animals for milk, egg or meat production, that they are required by the EPA guidelines, to set up a system to deal with the large quantities of animal waste produced. In practice, the agribusinesses create large settlement ponds and dump most of the waste into the ponds and allow it to settle, ferment and decay. Then they infrequently drain the water and scoop up the resulting sludge and use this to fertilize farmers fields. However, if there are storms, and rain overflows the ponds into local waterways where the CAFO fecal material and sludge runoff can then contaminate other farms, or local municipal water sources, that is now, by order of the Federal Court, fine and dandy.
This is where most of the salmonella and other contamination of produce comes from.
The federal government's NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) has this to say about the fecal contamination problem from CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operatons) ((NCBI link)) "Waste from agricultural livestock operations has been a long-standing concern with respect to contamination of water resources.... CAFOs present a greater risk to water quality because of both the
increased volume of waste and to contaminants that may be present.....generally accepted livestock waste management practices do not
adequately or effectively protect water resources from contamination
with excessive nutrients, microbial pathogens, and pharmaceuticals
present in the waste..... contaminants pose risks for adverse health impacts in wildlife or
humans. The effects of numerous waterborne pathogens on humans are well
known, although little is known about potential impacts of such
microorganisms on aquatic life." This is the Federal Government's own organization reporting on the problems of CAFO's back in 2007, the year before the 2nd Circuit Court made the ruling that those guys don't have to spend money to contain the feces from the animals that they make money from; that the feces, once natural forces like rain removes it from their operation, it's someone else's problem.
Feceiation, v. - to knowingly integrate fecal matter into the food supply of humans.
Last week I wrote about Feceiation, and I talked about how agribusinesses are using their influence to set the guidelines that the USDA uses to attempt to insure that the meats offered for sale are not contaminated. The problem of course is that feces is everywhere on the animals, and throughout their internal systems. It is pretty hard to remove the feces from the skins, feathers and hides when the animals are that saturated with it. When the animals are slaughtered, agribusiness demands for profits are so high that safety and cleanliness are put on the back burner in favor of speed. The Consumer Reports stated that over half of the chicken samples from retail grocery stores had fecal contamination. Visible fecal contamination. 97% of the chicken was contaminated with salmonella, listeria and other fecal bacterial contaminants. The USDA just last year, at the request of giant chicken processing agribusinesses raised the speeds at which chicken production facilities are allowed to run thus giving even less time for the USDA certified inspectors to look at each carcass.
Feceiation, n - where animal feces is an integral part of foods meant for human consumption
What a world we live in. Shit.